9 Best SSD Docking Station | December 2016
- 3 hub and card reader inputs
- solid high quality construction
- plug takes up 2 spaces on power strip
|Rating||3.7 / 5.0|
- hard drive support up to 4tb
- incredible value at the price
- confusing instructional guide
|Rating||3.9 / 5.0|
- backward compatible with usb 2.0/1.1
- one button data transfer system
- compact design saves desk space
|Rating||3.7 / 5.0|
- hot swapping supported
- includes lifetime tech support
- weighted base to prevent tipping over
|Rating||4.4 / 5.0|
- integrated short circuit protection
- 70% faster than conventional usb 3.0
- rubber feet to protect your work surface
|Rating||4.3 / 5.0|
- standard usb mass storage class support
- supports any drive capacity
- fits compactly in tight spaces
|Rating||4.3 / 5.0|
- led power indicator light
- also supports 2.5/3.5" sata drives
- ac adapter and data cable included
|Rating||4.6 / 5.0|
- gigabit ethernet port for hard wiring
- data transfer rates of up to 5 gbps
- includes a microphone jack
|Rating||4.6 / 5.0|
The Evolution Of Solid-State Drives
The majority of us think of solid-state drives as a new technology, but the technology actually first started to appear in the 1950s with the development of two technologies; card capacitor read-only store and magnetic core memory. These memory units were created during the vacuum-tube computer era, but as lower cost drum storage units were developed, production and usage of these rudimentary memory units ceased.
In the 1970s, SSDs were integrated into semiconductor memory devices for some IBM, Amdahl and Cray supercomputers, but their restrictively high price point meant they weren't often used. One example is Dataram's 1976 Bulk Core solid-state disk, which offered 2MB of storage space and sold for $9,700. With inflation factored in, that equates to over $30,000 today.
In 1978, a 16KB RAM solid-state drive was introduced by Texas Memory Systems. Just one year later, StorageTek released their own RAM SSD. As the 1980s rolled around, Intel created the 1M bit bubble memory, which was intended to be the new go-to non volatile solid state memory. Unfortunately their invention proved not to be cost effective or scalable and it quickly dropped out of the market.
In 1984, Tallgrass Technologies created the first hybrid drive. It had a a 40MB magnetic tape memory drive, with a 20MB SSD that could be used instead of the standard hard drive. This gave users the ability to store commonly accessed files and programs on the SSD so they could access them faster.
In 1995, flash-based solid-state drives were introduced. Unlike all previous SSDs, they did not require battery power to maintain data. This was a vital step in allowing SSDs to replace HDDs as a computer's main memory storage system. Since then, a number of innovations in SSD technology have allowed them to become faster, cheaper, and more durable, making them the best option when it comes to computer memory storage today.
Benefits Of A Solid-State Drive
Solid-state drives outperform traditional hard disk drives in a number of key areas. The first thing most users will notice when using a computer with an SSD is how much faster they are. The average HDD takes from 5,000 to 10,000 microseconds to access data, whereas the typical SSD only takes from 35 to 100 microseconds. That makes them over 100 times faster. This is due to the mechanical nature of a hard disk drive.
Inside of an HDD, there is a spinning magnetic disk and an actuator arm. When a computer needs to access a particular program or file, the actuator must lift up and move over the correct spot on the disk before it can read the data. This is one of the main issues slowing down hard disk drives. If the computer is just coming out of sleep mode, it must also wait for the disks to come to speed before data can be read. SSDs have no moving parts and can access data nearly instantaneously.
SSDs are ideal for ultrabooks as they are smaller and use less power than HDDs. This makes them more mobile friendly, and ideal for those who travel often or need a computer to last all day without having to be recharged. They are also more durable. Another drawback of the mechanical nature of the HDD is that they are more affected by bumps, drops, and other impacts. Anything that can affect the equilibrium of the spinning disk or cause issues with the movement of the actuator arm can cause problems ranging from drive failure to increased read and write times. SSDs can withstand greater impacts than HDDs, without worry of causing damage. This makes the perfect for users who are constantly taking their computers on the go.
Choosing An SSD Docking Station
When it comes time to expand your local storage space, using an SSD docking station to access your memory is one of the best options. The key is to buy one that has all the features you might need. Many SSD docking stations allow users to access memory from both internal HDDs and SDDs. Even if you don't currently own an extra HDD, there is no reason not to buy a universal docking station. You never know when you may need to access a friend's HDD, or if you may need to expand you local storage space in the future and won't have the cash to outlay on an expensive SSD.
Another feature to look for is one touch disk cloning. This allows you to clone the entire contents of one drive onto another drive, without needing computer support. Not only is this convenient for those times you don't have your computer handy, but it is also faster than running everything through your computer during transfers.
The more adaptability your SSD docking station has, the better. So look for one that has multiple connection ports, including USB, HDMI, and DVI. It is also best to look for one that works with both Macs and PCs. Some may also feature Ethernet ports for internet connectivity. For those who plan on taking their docking station on the go, there are pocket-sized models available, which are lightweight and durable.